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This is a very big question!
Recently we have been spending more time with American’s resident in Canada and other countries to deal with the issue of late FBAR’s.
My experience is that there is a lot of false information out there, and the guidance from the IRS is unclear and even contradictory.
I believe that the FBAR requirements and penalties were put in place by the IRS many years ago to deal with severe abusers of the US tax system – those acting with conscious criminal intent. Consequently the FBAR rules are heavy handed and punitive.
Unfortunately there are many Americans who are non-compliant with their FBAR filing obligations because they were unaware of their requirement to file FBAR’s. The are many reasons for this lapse, such as lack of knowledge, inexperience, deficient advise.
As a result, many Americans now face the dilemma of how to bring their filings onside.
We have recently posted a FAQ giving our views on the options(click here).
We hope that you will find this information useful and please contact us if you require assistance.